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Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 2: Component Overview

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CPU
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Random Access Memory (RAM)
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Heatsink and Fan

All CPUs will need a heatsink and a fan (see Figure 17). The heatsink draws heat away from the CPU. The fins of the heatsink and the fan then dissipate this heat into the case. If an Intel Pentium overheats, it will stop working and your system will freeze up.


Figure 17: Heatsink and fan

The heatsink sits on top of the CPU and keeps it cool.

 


The AMD CPUs can actually burn themselves up. They aren’t designed to shut down if they overheat. This isn’t usually a problem as long as you properly install a top quality heatsink/fan combination with your AMD Athlon. If you purchase a retail box version of your CPU, it will include a quality heatsink and fan.

For the system built in this book, the Athlon 2000+ XP was purchased in its retail box version which includes a heatsink and a fan. The package also has detailed and excellent instructions about installing the CPU and the heatsink/ fan. We’ll show the installation of the Athlon XP CPU and heatsink/fan later.


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CPU
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Random Access Memory (RAM)
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